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Salt pan repairs to cost 40pc more, say producers
The salt pan reformation works incur a huge expenditure as a result of extensive damage caused to the pans, several salt manufacturers said.
Salt pans in Thoothukudi, severely hit by rain until the fag end of the northeast monsoon season last year, are undergoing repairs. Unlike previous years, the salt pan reformation works incur a huge expenditure as a result of extensive damage caused to the pans, several salt manufacturers said.
ARAS Dhanabalan, secretary, Thoothukudi Small Scale Salt Manufacturers Association, said unusually this year, the expenditure is forecast to rise by nearly 25 per cent against normal conditions. The repair works on bunds constructed using mud and clay along pans would go on for a period of four weeks and the new season is expected to take off from the middle or fag end of February, he told DT Next on Sunday.
S Petchimuthu, another manufacturer, said usually he would incur an expense of about Rs 12,000 to Rs 13,000 an acre and it has gone up to Rs 25,000 this year.
According to Michael Motha, salt manufacturer and chairman, Confederation of Indian Industry, Thoothukudi, many have started collecting gypsum, a byproduct of salt and pumping brine from pans. Gypsum is a raw material for cement industry and also being used for making ‘plaster of paris casts’
On the expenditure on salt pan repairs, he said the cost would vary from place to place and depending on the extent of damage caused to pans. Some pans at rural areas located close to kanmois suffered major damage providing scope for additional expenditure of nearly 40 per cent. Apart from clay bunds, roads in access to pans also remain damaged.
On the other hand, he said the market demand for Thoothukudi manufactured salt remains steady since Gujarat, which is high with a contribution of about 80 to 85 per cent of production, is yet to resume work.
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